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Remote Desktop: How-to control my home desktop from work or a friends

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I'm looking for a solution to controlling my home desktop when I'm at work or at a friends house. I'm not really sure where to begin. Is their software out there that would let me accomplish this? Or is it possible to set this up simply by using options already built into my Windows XP computer?

The computer I want to remote into is an XP. All of the computers that I'd be using to get into it would be Vista machines.

Any help would be greatly appreciated. :)
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    Je suis Napoléon!

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one option is a system like logmein or pcanywhere...both are designed to do this...though neither is free, but they require the least amount of configuration on the target machine

you could also use either VNC (any flavor of VNC...i like realvnc and ultravnc) or remote desktop (built into windows xp and newer)...but both of these options require you to do some configuration changes on your router/modem as well as either get a static ip address (public ip not private) or use a service like dyndns to allow you to have a semi static address to connect to...the major drawback of these options is the fact that you WILL be opening a security hole (pretty large one actually) in your internet connection
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